Brexit: Expert warns UK has to be ‘innovative’
The comparison used by the EU chief in reference to the coronavirus vaccine roll-out schemes was labelled “inappropriate” by critics who took to Twitter to denounce her. The European Commission President tried to justify the EU’s slow vaccine roll-out while comparing independent Britain’s performance.
She told a group of European news outlets: “I’m aware that a country might be a speedboat and the EU more a tanker.
“But this is the strength of the EU.”
She added: “If we conclude a contract, we need another five days for the member states to say, ‘yes’ – and these are five days, five working days.
“So, obviously, of course a decision taken by 27 lasts longer than if you just go by yourself, but I am deeply convinced that the European approach is the right one.”
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Social media users criticised the comparison, while others claimed her remarks proved Britain was right to leave the trade bloc.
One user wrote: “Comparison is inappropriate for this COVID health crisis.
“It gives grounds for believing Spain or Italy should have done the same as Hungary did approving the Russian vaccine.”
A second commenter said: “Not sure the comparison helps von der Leyen. Still has the look of someone with a spade, digging.
“This issue shows why we left the EU and I’m not thinking of vaccination speed.
“Its the constant desire of Brussels to extent its area of influence particularly during crisis.”
Another person added: “Has always been the argument why a trade bloc should stick to trade and shouldn’t be involving itself in things like vaccinations. EU is too bloated to do it.”
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Britain has provided over 10.5 million jabs so far, at a rate of 15.5 doses per 100 people.
The EU, which has delivered 14.3 million jabs, is vaccinating at a rate of 3.16 per 100 people.
Ms von der Leyen insisted in defending the EU’s slow pace.
She said: “The UK has chosen the route of emergency marketing authorisations, we have chosen another, and we believe it is the right one.”
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